What is plant decorating?

Simply put, is decorating our homes with plants!

As an Interior Designer, I always get asked for ideas and recommendations on how to best and properly decorate homes.

Questions generally vary from paint colors to flooring types, from cabinet materials to what to hang on the walls.

Some of the questions, like material and finishes, are more Interior Design related than Decor related. However, based on what I am hearing, people are generally looking for ease of maintenance and durability on all fronts, and I can’t blame anybody for that! I am all over it, especially having a young family and a dog!

The one thing people don’t often take into consideration is the alternative green and healthy way to decorate a home, or better, plant decorating!

In addition to the aesthetic values that plants can add to a home, indoor plants have many health benefits, and surrounding ourselves with green, living, and breathing decor is incredibly beneficial for our bodies and minds!

Indoor Plants eliminate toxins from the air, improving our home air quality. They are energizing for the mind by lowering our stress levels and encouraging deeper sleep. As the say goes; “Plants make people happy”, so why not give plant decorating a chance?

A lot can be done to enhance our home decor, (and office if you will), with plants.

So why decorating with plants is not a consideration when planning a new home or a renovation?

For two main reasons:

1) People are simply not aware of the many amazing ways we can decorate with plants and enhance our rooms!

2) People have the misconception that plants require too much time and maintenance.

Trust me, I am one of the many people out there not having enough hours in a day to do everything it needs to be done!

However, by simply being interested in low-maintenance plants, I learned so much about the many options available out there for easy care plants, plant decorating, and plants related decor objects. I got hooked on the topic of plant decorating so much that I want to share this knowledge and passion with you!

The intent of this article is to open your eyes, (and mind), to the many possibilities we all have to decorate our homes with plants and how some beautiful and unique options are almost maintenance-free!

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Here are some of the most popular plant decorating options for our homes.

You can pick any idea and adapt it to suit your home, taste, and lifestyle.

If you don’t have much time to dedicate to plant care or pick plants that require minimum maintenance, you can read my article on the Best 10 Low Maintenance Indoor Plants for some guidance on easy indoor plants.

Or, if you like plants that require high humidity, you may want to consider using them in a Closed Terrarium so that you don’t have to water them for a very long time!

The possibilities are endless, you just need to adapt the plants you like to the application that suits your home and lifestyle best…

1. PLANT DECORATING WITH STAND-ALONE PLANTS

For the purpose of this article, stand-alone plants are “statement plants” that become one of the major features of the environment they are placed in. These are floor or table plants that are big enough to be a statement themselves.

CACTI AND SUCCULENTS

Here are two examples of plant decorating using relatively big indoor cacti and succulents.

Large indoor cacti and succulents linear and sculptural shapes, enhance the space surrounding them in different ways.

Cacti and succulents are great plants to have for so many reasons; they are fascinating for every age and they are absolutely low maintenance. I have had my Euphorbia Cactus and ZZ Plants for over 15 years and I water them monthly.

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Snake Plant on the Floor and ZZ Plant on the Stand have been paired in this room to create a green corner. Both plants are big enough to be displayed individually if desired.

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I placed this Euphorbia Cactus in a pocket of our home, where it can reach a good amount of light and provide us with a tasteful stair landing at the same time.

TROPICAL PLANTS

Tropical plants are beautiful living decor complements for plant decorating purposes!

Once you find the right location for them in the house, they can grow fast!

Some require higher levels of humidity than others, so it is wise to read about plants you may want to buy in advance in order to gauge the level of maintenance required.

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A Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree is the perfect stand-alone tropical plant. Its beauty, height, and structure are a statement on their own and do not require any particular stand or cache pot.

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A larger tropical plant with multiple stems and leaves can be propped on a stand or a tabletop and dressed up with a nice cache pot or a boho-style basket.

2. PLANT DECORATING WITH COLLECTIONS

A collection of plants is a group of plants assembled by either a common aspect or simply by taste.

Collections of plants and other complementary decor objects are the perfect example of plant decorating.

Even if in this case we have multiple plants to care for, low-maintenance plants like cacti and succulents can be selected.

Here are some examples;

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A group of succulents of different shapes and proportions in curious white pots.

plant decorating

A group of different plant types like succulents, cacti, air plants, and other objects shares the same tones of color.

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A trio of succulents with the same pot style and size.

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A small collection of propagating baby plants in miniature glass jars.

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A group of plants from different species that have in common the same tones of greens.

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A collection of plants and decor items that are tastefully displayed together.

3. PLANT DECORATING WITH PLANT SHELFIES

What’s a plant shelfie?

It’s mostly an Instagram definition that comes from mixing the words SHELF and SELFIE, particularly when the picture depicts a plant on a shelf.

Instagram and Pinterest are filled with Plant Shelfie ideas.

I’ve created my own at home with my “panties” and shelves.

Plant decorating shelves and bookcases with plants and plant-related images create a much more conducive and relaxing environment, rather than staring at a busy shelf filled with books spines of every color and density…

A shelf with plants and picture frames has more dimension and openness compared to a solid wall of books.

Here are some examples;

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These are the shelves above my desk in my home office. I find the contrast of natural green on white walls, frames and shelves quite fresh and inspiring.

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Another shelf in my home office displays Strings of Bananas in a cute pot and propagating in water.

Chinese money plant

One Pilea Plant among a collection of picture frames on the Living Room shelf.

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A Collection of Pileas, both planted and propagating, mixed with other compatible decor objects on a Living Room Shelf. 

4. PLANT DECORATING WITH CARTS

A Cart?

Why a cart?

Because it’s a double surface to put your plants on; it’s on wheels and it can easily be moved. (Although, mine has never moved!).

I bought my antique bar cart with mirrored glass surfaces specifically to display my plants, not for anything else. I needed something to place my plants on by my South facing window and I knew a table would have been boring…I saw many carts ideas on Pinterest so when I saw this gorgeous antique bar cart on sale, I bought it right away!

A cart is not just practical to double the amount of plants you can stuff on. It also adds beauty to a room with its decontextualized use.

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Kokedama Moss Ball sitting on the top surface of my bar cart.

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My bar cart against the South facing window. It’s definitely the plant’s prime spot in our home!

5. PLANT DECORATING WITH WALL HANGERS

Plant decorating with wall hangers can be really interesting!

I wrote an article on Plants Wall Decor Ideas and if you read it, you’ll be surprised to discover the many creative ways you can dress up your walls with plants!

However, if we just focus on wall hangers, macrame plant hangers are great, inexpensive and easy options!

There are also some very interesting glass, open and closed terrariums of different shapes and dimensions that can be hung from the walls.

Here are some examples;

plant decorating

The beauty of macrame plant hangers is that they are pieces of art themselves and they can enhance the charm of the plant they are supporting. However, macrame wall hangers are not for every home as they suit a particular decor style and taste.

wall hanging plants

This glass-sealed Terrarium is heavy and definitely requires some sort of wall bracing to be supported. If this is something that interests you, you should search the market for smaller and lighter hanging glass Terrariums.

Take a look at my Wall Decor Ideas article for more details.

6. PLANT DECORATING WITH TERRARIUMS

OPEN TERRARIUM

Terrariums are by far one of the most popular plant decorating strategies!

People love terrariums because they integrate the living component of the plants with the decorating aspects of the container, layering of materials, and decorative rocks! Some terrariums are blended with fairy gardens to appeal to the younger crowds.

They can be bought already made or in kits to assemble or you can create your own from scratch choosing every single component. To learn more about Terrariums, check out my blog on 5 Easy Steps to Make a Terrarium.

Not every plant is suitable for a terrarium but if the intent is to create a low-maintenance, yet beautiful living decor item, succulents are your best candidates! Try to put together plants with the same watering and lighting requirements so you don’t incur into over or under-watering one of the plants. I find that it’s easy to replace plants within your terrarium if something goes wrong, provided that the shape and access to your container allow that!

Terrariums can be made in so many ways; they can be minimalistic and simple or complex and very rich. It all depends on the type of container you choose! They can be placed on a table by themselves or they can be arranged with other decor items and materials as shown here below!

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A glass and brass Terrarium paired with a similar candle and eucalyptus indoor lantern.

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The same glass and brass Terrarium are displayed on a wicker tray.

CLOSED TERRARIUMS

Closed Terrariums are so fascinating, not only for their beauty but also for the science behind them! This is another interesting project you can do with your older kids.

Did you know Closed Terrariums create their own water cycle? For this reason, Closed Terrariums are a perfect plant decorating item for your home if you don’t want to spend too much time watering and maintaining your plants! There so many different ways to create Closed Terrariums! The most common types are Bottle Terrariums, Apothecary Jar Terrariums, and glass Cloche Terrariums. While Bottle Terrariums are fairly complex to assemble due to the very narrow access to the inside, Apothecary Jars and Glass Cloche Terrariums are much easier to assemble. The method of construction and layering is the same as you would use for a regular terrarium but the plants are different. Cacti and Succulents are not suitable plants for Closed Terrariums. Tropical plants that thrive in humid conditions are the best plants to use. For more information on Closed Terrariums, check out my Blog on Closed Terrariums.

 

plant decorating

This Glass Cloche Terrarium was really easy to create because of its deep base with a dome as a lid. There was no need to dig, plant, and adjust layers within a deep and thin container.

This Apothecary Jar is a perfect container for a Closed Terrarium.

7. PLANT DECORATING WITH AIR PLANTS

Air Plants are very interesting plants…They are kind of a mystery to me…I learned what they are and how they thrive but I still can’t explain how they survive without roots implanted in soil for nutrients. But don’t kid yourself, Air Plants are not as maintenance-free as you’d think they are…unless you really want to kill them, of course! Air Plants absorb water and nutrients from water and fertilizer, not soil. Depending on the type of Air Plant you have, there are different ways to water it. Some enjoy the daily mist of a sprayer, while others, like mine, get submerged in water for an hour once a week. (Yes, my Kokedama and Air Plant bathe together weekly…).

The sculptural beauty of Air Plants makes them so popular, (and the fact that they don’t need pot and soil). They are great to plant decorating items as they can be displayed in so many cool ways, as long as they are not placed on top of any type of soil or moss. The market is filled with geometric metal structures for tables and walls in which Air Plants can be placed on. Other examples are glass bubbles, or lava rocks. Read my article on Decorating with Air Plants to learn more. My favourite way to display Air Plants is on beautiful pieces of driftwood…(I can’t wait to go to the lake and find some driftwood for my Air Plant…).

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In this example, the Air Plant has been displayed with other plants to create a countertop composition.

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This picture shows an individual Air Plant displayed on a macrame wall hanger as a piece of art.

8. PLANT DECORATING WITH KOKEDAMA

Kokedama means Moss Ball in Japanese. To me, Kokedama are amazing pieces of living art!

While assembling Kokedama is meticulous work, maintaining and caring for a Kokedama is fairly easy. All you need to do is to submerge your moss ball in a bucket of water as often as is required by the type of plant you put in it. In my case, I submerge my Kokedama for an hour once a week.

Kokedama can be displayed on a table or hung. Many Kokedama are hung from the ceiling. In my case, I like to display it on a counter for practical reasons so I don’t have to take it down from the ceiling every time I want to water it.

Depending on the type of plant you use to make your Kokedama, you can even enclose it in a Glass Cloche and almost treat it like a Closed Terrarium. The visual effect is quite dramatic!

If you love Kokedama but don’t have the desire to make it yourself, you can buy already assembled Kokedama! If you are interested and want to learn more about Kokedama, check out my blog on Ways to Decorate with Kokedama.

 

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A Kokedama Moss Ball is displayed on a side table as part of a composition.

Kokedama

This Kokedama Moss Ball has been displayed as an individual piece of decor on a side table.

9. PLANT DECORATING WITH PROPAGATION STATIONS

Perhaps this is not your low-maintenance plant decor type, but it sure is good looking thanks to all the miniature glass bottles, rewarding, (as it really works!) and very intriguing and interesting for the kids!

(Try to get your kid to say “Propagation Station” ; )

Propagating plants is actually a great project to take on with the kids! (I wrote an article about it, of course!). They love helping re-potting plants and getting their little fingers dirty! They will observe the changes occurring over time in those little bottles! In order to propagate, you need to have the right type of plants as some are way easier and faster than others to reproduce!

I have a Pilea Peperomioides, (I bought one and after 4 months I’ve had 8 pups!), a Sansevieria, and a Peperomia Rotundifolia propagating in these pictures!

plant decorating

These miniature glass jars have been matched to other glass jars on a shelf. 

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The wood base of these Propagation Stations has been placed near picture frames of similar wood tones.

10. PLANT DECORATING WITH FRESH CUTS AND BRANCHES

Finally, I am listing Fresh Cuts as an option to decorate your home with a green touch.

This is a great option and can bring so much value to your space by simply choosing the right type of color of foliage and flower. Picking the right type of vase or container is also an art in itself.

Seasonal flowers from your garden are beautiful and have a positive effect on your mood. If you don’t have a garden you can buy gorgeous bouquets from your local flower shop or grocery store.

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The silvery green tones of dried-out Eucalyptus branches go really well with the charcoal and grey tones of wood and iron decor objects. These tones are tied well together by the transparency of the glass and the white background.

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Garden-grown Annabelle Hydrangeas.

[Source: This article was published in blog.mytastefulspace By Cecilia Turner – Uploaded by the Member of Broadreader]